Windies eye revenge against Zimbabwe today

Regional cricket needs progress and
star power and hopefully it sees some of both today.

The first of two Digicel One Day
International matches against Zimbabwe
takes place at Guyana National Stadium at 9:30am. The second match in the
Digicel series takes place on Saturday.

Zimbabwe are coming off a shocking
26 run victory over the Windies team in the one-off 20/20 match last weekend at
Queen’s Park Oval in Trinidad.

It is the latest blow to a proud
region that once dominated cricket but is now getting beat by the likes of Bangladesh and
being embroiled in administrative controversy.

Windies got off to a good start in the
match as the bowlers kept the Africans to 105 all out in 19.5 overs. Darren
Sammy (5-26) and Sulieman Benn (4-6) were in outstanding form.

 However the batting let the side down as Zimbabwe kept
the squad to 79-7 in the first 20 overs. The highest score came from Windies
captain Denesh Ramdin who nabbed 23 not out on 36 balls.

To counter that offensive
misadventure Windies will see Chris Gayle take up the captain duties for the
first two ODIs.

Gayle, one of the region’s best
batsmen, sat out the 20/20 match. He will join fellow superstar Shivnarine
Chanderpaul who had 20 runs in 30 balls last weekend in his return to international

Windies hope Gayle, who led coaching
clinics in Cayman last year, can go well past the half century mark as the
side’s opener.

Looking at the current squad, the
two biggest omissions are Ramnaresh Sarwan and Dwayne Bravo. Both men may have
questions about their fitness and their recovery from recent injury but can contribute
in ODIs.

Ultimately Windies’ success against
will depend on whether Benn, Sammy, Nikita Miller and company can get support
from the batsmen.